“Obamacare” Lives: The Affordable Care Act is Constitutional

Image via Wikimedia Commons

I admit to being quite surprised—and delighted—by the news that the Supreme Court upheld nearly all parts of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) or what the right often calls “Obamacare.” When Chief Justice Roberts joined the four justices already expected to find the law constitutional, he defied my expectations.

Perhaps you can forgive my pessimistic outlook due to my personal involvement with the 90 year battle for the federal government to make sure that all Americans have equitable access to quality healthcare.

Twenty-five years ago in northeastern Minnesota, I led a pilot project funded by the state and private foundations.  Our mission was to create a basic health plan that would be affordable for small businesses and their employees. Business owners and workers alike were enthusiastic and ready to join.

But we failed because the major health insurers in our area put pressure on hospitals and physician groups to not join the preferred provider organization that was needed to be the healthcare network to make it all work. And this after they had officially said they supported our pilot and wanted to help it work.

Our painful failure had a silver lining and helped persuade the Minnesota Legislature to create a plan called MNCare that provided limited primary coverage to individuals funded by a tax on all healthcare services. MNCare still exists but has been a perennial target of funding cut/tax cut lobbysists and legislators ever since.

In the process of failing, I learned a lot about both the health insurance industry and about citizen expectations of health care. It convinced me that health insurers wouldn’t cooperate to solve the problem of uninsured Americans. And it showed me the intellectual dishonesty of economists and politicians who persist in comparing the purchase of health care to the purchase of a car or other large ticket item.

The fact is that healthcare is a product like virtually none other in a capitalist economy. It isn’t governed by rational consumer decision-making. And it never will be.

That’s why we needed Obamacare. That’s why President Obama and the Democratic members of Congress who supported the ACA deserve huge thanks from all Americans. Finally we’re on the path to significant change in expanding health care access to all our citizens.

It’s about time.

Nancy Gruver is the publisher of the magazine New Moon Girls and the author of How to Say it to Girls.

Donald Trump Tourette, Donald Trump insults, Donald Trump for president
Trump “Diagnosed” with Tourette Syndrome?
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
woman and ageing, women in their 50s, 52 life lessons
My Full Deck: 52 Things It’s Taken Me This Long to (Maybe) Learn!
258.barefoot-hippies
Channeling CNN’s “The Seventies”: Are You a Mrs. Kravitz? Or Are You the Hippie?
Donald Trump Tourette, Donald Trump insults, Donald Trump for president
Trump “Diagnosed” with Tourette Syndrome?
unmarried president
Will We Ever Be Ready for a Modern-Day Unmarried President?
Scott Walker, Richard Nixon, is Scott Walker Nixonian, open records
Election Noir: The Scott Walker Way
intersectional feminism, intersectionality, white feminists, feminism and women of color, third wave feminism, new feminism
What (White) Women Want: The Need for a New, New Feminism
Donald Trump Tourette, Donald Trump insults, Donald Trump for president
Trump “Diagnosed” with Tourette Syndrome?
unmarried president
Will We Ever Be Ready for a Modern-Day Unmarried President?
Donald Trumo vs. Hillary Clinton, political leadership, GOP presidential race, Democratic presidential race
Trump Mania is Scaring the GOP, as Hillary Reads Shifting Political Winds
Scott Walker, Richard Nixon, is Scott Walker Nixonian, open records
Election Noir: The Scott Walker Way
hammock-249136_640
Vacation, Paid Leave and the Madness of American Workaholism
unmarried president
Will We Ever Be Ready for a Modern-Day Unmarried President?
war on families, family leave, health consequences of no family leave
A Report You Haven’t Heard of Says There’s a National Emergency for Women & Families
Sexual Assault
Straight Talk From a Teen About Sexual Assault
dying friends, friendship and death, denial about friend's death
Could I Have Been a Better Friend at the End?
women's lives, planning for the unexpected, Chinese adoption
Cushioning My Landing: When Emotions Collide with Rationality
11069864_385264318326651_7985163416737673298_n
A New York City Feminist on the Camino de Santiago
white people talking about race
Just a White Girl From the Suburbs
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
breast cancer, save the boobies, save second base, why is breast cancer awareness about sex
Campaigns to Save the “Boobies” and “Tatas” Do Women No Favors
feminism and erotica, can you be a feminist and enjoy erotic fiction, feminist and Fifty Shades of Grey
I’m a Feminist and I Read Erotica

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread